The Christian Family — Part Three
return to the main player
Return to the Main Player
return to the main player
Return to the Main Player

The Christian Family — Part Three

Colossians 3:19  (ID: 3507)

The lordship of Christ should be on display in a Christian marriage. But how can spouses live this out? Expounding on the husband’s leadership role in a godly marriage, Alistair Begg explains how a bridegroom should love his bride sacrificially, exclusively, and gently. This kind of selfless love is critical for a healthy marriage. Not only that, but it is also an example to a watching world of Christ’s perfect love for His own bride, the church.

Sermon Transcript: Print

Well, I invite you to turn with me to the New Testament and to Colossians and chapter 3. And let’s just read from here initially, and then a couple of other passages to set a wider context.

Colossians 3:18:

“Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them. Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.”

And then let’s turn back to Ephesians and to chapter 5 and read again a similar exhortation by Paul when he writes to the church in Ephesus. Ephesians 5 and from verse 22:

“Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.

“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.”

And then, finally, in 1 Peter and in chapter 3. And here’s Peter on the same theme. First Peter 3:1:

“Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won [over] without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct. Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of [the] hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear—but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening.

“Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.”

Amen. May God bless to us the reading of his Word.

And our text tonight is just as short and as clear as our text this morning. This morning, in the eighteenth verse: “Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.” And tonight: “Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them.” Or, as J. B. Phillips paraphrases the second half of that, “Don’t let bitterness or resentment spoil your marriage.”

We are in this position, in studying in familiar territory, because—and I say this for the benefit of some who may just have come in this evening—we paused for a couple of weeks, a few weeks, in our studies in 2 Samuel out of a concern for the well-being of our children and the parental exercise of control by the parents of these same children, so that we might be clearly together in our desire to see them understanding the Bible and being conformed to the image of Jesus. And that then led us to a consideration of the family itself, setting the understanding of God’s specific instructions for the physical family in light of his spiritual family—namely, the church—which has caused us to think significantly about what it means to be the church, to be members of the church, and so on.

And we saw this morning—and it’s important that we remind ourselves of it this evening—that our understanding of these specific instructions, either here in Colossians or elsewhere as we’ve read it, these understandings directly as it relates to marriage must be viewed in the context of the gospel, must be understood in light of God’s ultimate purpose in seeing men and women conformed to the image of his Son. And that is why, for example, in Ephesians 5, Paul speaks about this immense mystery, which is usually mentioned when that passage is read at the services of a marriage, and he says, “And I am talking about Christ and the church”—which, of course, should cause people to say, “But I thought we were here for a wedding. Why would he be talking about Christ and the church?” Well, because marriage has to be understood in those terms. And as we said this morning, the chief end of marriage is “to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.”[1]

It is that same emphasis which caused Martyn Lloyd-Jones in one of his books to—actually, in one of his sermons, which then, of course, was eventually in a book—to say to his congregation, preaching along these lines, “How many of us,” he asks, “have realized that we are to think of the married state in terms of the doctrine of the atonement? Books on marriage are found in a library under ethics. But,” he says, “they do not belong there. We must consider marriage in terms of doctrine, and that doctrine primarily of the atonement, of the seeking love of God for rebels, whom he woos and wins to himself and upon whom he pours out his Spirit and who he loves with an exclusive affection. That,” says Lloyd-Jones—which is just really speaking the Bible—“that gives us our bigger context.”[2]

Now, with that said, let’s just be very honest about things, as we must be, and recognize that we may embrace that; we may affirm it; we may say, “Yes, of course we believe the Bible to be authoritative and clear in this regard”; and yet we live our lives in the mainstream of a contemporary culture which seems to pay scant attention to that and in many cases is actually opposed to it. Men and women in coming into our homes, in meeting us in common conversation, in accepting an invitation to dinner, or in engaging with us in a sporting event, if we are very honest, many of them who do not share our convictions and our faith could be forgiven for concluding that we have no higher view of marriage than that which is common in our culture. They could be forgiven for concluding that. I’m not suggesting that they would be right in concluding it, but I’m saying they could be forgiven.

Because our contemporary view of marriage is vastly different from what we have just read. It is a union that is based, if you like, on fluctuating human experience: the kind of thing you used to do in the first flush of love when you have fastened your affection on some girl, and you picked up one of those dandelions, and you walked down the road with it, blowing on it— “She loves me, she loves me not, she loves me”—and hoping desperately that it would end up at the right point, you know. That’s so much the view, isn’t it? “She loves me. I love her. Maybe I don’t. Maybe she does. Maybe we stick. Maybe we leave. Maybe we twist. Maybe we turn.”

You say, “But wait a minute. That’s not what we believe.” No, I didn’t say it’s what we believe. I said our pagan friends could be forgiven for thinking it is what we believe because of the way we are tempted to behave—in other words, to make our own adjudication on these things not on the strength of the instruction of the Bible but on the shifting shadows and changing affections of passing time. And recognizing, then, when we turn to a section like this, that we are dealing with the divine will, and we are dealing with the divine Word, and that the express reality of what is involved is, as from the very beginning of creation, that “the two shall become one flesh.”[3] They will “become one flesh.”

In other words, it is saying something that is vastly different from just a kind of mutual engagement with one another. It’s something vastly different from “hooking up.” It is very, very different. In fact, it has little to do with a contractual obligation. It has everything to do with a divine covenant. And that is why the marriage ceremony itself and the way marriage is approached and the vows that are made by both husband and wife in marriage is important. It matters how it takes place, it matters where it takes place, and it matters among whom it takes place.

Because if you think about it, the marriage bond is, number one, exclusive. Right? It is that there will be one man and one woman. There will be a man and his wife. It doesn’t involve anybody else—none of this nonsense about “two and three involved in the process” of contemporary thought.

Secondly, it is publicly acknowledged. You say, “Well, how would it be publicly acknowledged?” Well, because the person leaves. Leaves where? Leaves their house. Leaves their family. Ceases to be what they were and becomes something absolutely different.

I came on a marriage the other day with my children. We were in Utica, New York. Not my children; three of the grandchildren. And we came on a wedding, and it was out in the square. And I turned to Sue, and I said, “You know, years ago, this would have been a treasure trove.” Because in Scotland, one of the things that happened when the bride and groom and the wedding party left the church was that they threw money out of the windows. Now, this is Scotland, understand! Scottish people don’t throw money away—not by nature. But they threw money out of the windows.

And so, it was a phenomenal afternoon when I was riding my bike home from school, and I came on the Presbyterian church just round the corner from my home, and the cars were there. Oh, I parked the bike, and I waited! I didn’t care how long the service lasted. I waited. And then the small crowd assembled, and eventually, they shared their joy in marriage and their largesse. And it was very, very clear what had happened. They had been in their home. The man had come from his home; the wife had come from her home. They’d come into the church. They’d now been united with one another, and they were going away entirely different. We understood that. That was what had happened. It was something far more significant than often what we see now.

So that the nature of it is exclusive; it is publicly acknowledged; it is absolutely permanent. “And he will cleave to his wife; she will cleave to her husband.” The picture is sticking with it, superglued together.

And it is consummated—consummated—by sexual intercourse.

That is biblical marriage. Do you hear that, young people? Do you hear that, teenagers? As you listen to all the voices in your ears, understand this. And understand this, too: that God who made you knows how it works, and how it works properly, and the disaster that accompanies it when we decide to try it on our own. This is the word of God. It is valid. It is permanent. It is universal. And when entered upon as God intends, as we said this morning, it is an advertisement for the Christian faith. And how we need this advertisement for the Christian faith!

Do you realize that it was in 1964, when I was twelve years old, that the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States of America was set up to deliver sex education in schools? And in 1964, it supported ideas such as merging or reversing sex roles, liberating children from their parents, and abolishing the traditional value—a government organization established so that children may be impacted in this way. Goodness gracious, how long is it since I was twelve? It’s, what, fifty-seven years? Half a century! Are you surprised by where we are today? You shouldn’t be. Nineteen seventy-nine, the Gay Liberation Front Manifesto reads, “We must aim at the abolition of the family” founded on the “archaic and irrational teachings” of Christianity.[4]

Make no mistake about it: “We do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against … spiritual [wickedness] in the heavenly places.”[5] And the absolute point of contact in contemporary culture is right here, in the realm of sex and marriage and family. You have to be dead not to know that, and you have to be of the most naive of people not to take seriously our real need to cry to God to revive the church in the midst of these years, and so that it might be that our marriages, our homes, our kids are an attractive alternative—are an adventure that is labeled “Following Jesus.”

Now, at the time of Paul’s writing, there were in existence both Judaistic and Greek and Roman codes of ethics that related to family living, related to the life of the house. And so it is no surprise that Paul himself, given that kind of framework, would, under the direction of the Holy Spirit, be providing, if you like, the rules or the codes or the framework for marriage within the context of the gospel. And so, when you think about that, and you think about the people living in the contemporary world, the Greco-Roman world, who knew what it was—that the husband was supposed to be this, the wife was supposed to be that—they would say, “Yes, well, this seems to make absolutely perfect sense.”

The model, the measure of a husband’s love is to be Jesus’ love for his people.

But what they wouldn’t get is what is at the heart of what Paul is saying. Because the heart of what Paul is saying is that the execution of these principles is under the lordship of Jesus Christ—that Jesus Christ is Lord. He is Lord as creator of the universe. He is Lord as the one who has redeemed his people from our sins. He is the Lord who reigns in heaven. He is the Lord who will return again. He is the Lord who will reign in a new heaven and in a new earth.

And so, the lordship of Jesus Christ is then to be on display not simply in the church as it gathers but is to be on display in the home life of the members of the church. That’s the hard part! You can get away with a lot here on a Sunday or whatever day you want to be together—and quite frankly, so can I. But I have to go home. I said to somebody tonight, “I don’t know whether it’d be better to have no wife than to have a wife and to have to preach on the role of a husband.” You don’t think I get up here, like, “Yeah, I get a free pass.” No, I go home, and I came from a home. And so do you. Because at home, for better or for worse, one is oneself. Yeah.

I’ve been greatly challenged just recently. Crossway came out with a wonderful new copy, an abridged version, of The Reformed Pastor by Richard Baxter, which was written in the seventeenth century. The original book is hundreds and hundreds of pages. It’s just very hard to read. And so this individual has done us a great favor by reducing it in a quite masterful way. And Baxter’s exhortations are based on Acts 20:28, which reads, “Pay careful attention to yourselves and to … the flock.” No, first of all, “to yourselves.”

Now, in doing that, we have to take seriously what the Bible is conveying. Earlier, this morning, for some of us, we noted that for the wife to submit to her husband in this way is somewhat necessarily conditioned, if you like, and conditioned significantly by the demand which then follows here in verse 19. So, “Wives, you submit to your husbands as is fitting in the Lord. And husbands, you love your wives, and don’t be harsh with them.” This is the two pieces, if you like, of the puzzle. That’s why we read 1 Peter 3. That’s why we read Ephesians chapter 5. So, you have submission, and you have love.

Now, we might ponder why it is that these things are set in juxtaposition to one another in this way. I think it may be because if we are honest, we understand the particular susceptibility of each member in marriage—namely, the susceptibility of the wife to chafe and push back under the leadership of her husband and the susceptibility of the husband to seek to abuse his leadership role in giving direction to the family and seeking to love his wife.

Now, again, I’m going to keep saying this, because it is so vitally important: that these admonitions are not culturally bound; they are permanently valid. And the countercultural element to what Paul is writing here—countercultural in his day, before we even think about it in our own—is what he has to say concerning the love that a husband is to show. All of those ethical codes, whether Greco or Roman or Judaistic, would all have very clear building blocks for how the family should fit together. What would be so striking to people who were familiar with these kind of ethical demands was what he says here: “This is what husbands are to do: husbands, you are to love your wives. To love your wives.” “You who are the beloved of God,” up there in verse 12: “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved…”[6] That’s the same verb, actually: agapáō. It’s agape. “You who are beloved are to put on love,” in verse 14, “and if you want to really know where the hit will come, why don’t you put it on in relationship to your wife, at home.”

Now, let’s just say, let’s just acknowledge that he puts this both positively and negatively. Positively, to love your wife means that we must do sacrificially. Sacrificially. The model, the measure of a husband’s love is to be Jesus’ love for his people. Couldn’t we have made it a little harder? “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church.” When Paul writes in Philippians 2, in that amazing passage about Christ, who did not think equality with God something to be grasped but made himself of no reputation[7]—in that context, Paul makes these exhortations: “In humility count others better than yourselves. Look out for the interests of others rather than your own. And remember when you’re tempted to say, ‘But I don’t want to do that,’ that your example is Jesus, who was prepared to give up himself sacrificially, even to death on a cross.”[8]

So in other words, the love—the love that a husband is to give to his wife—is actually extending the love that he has for himself to embrace her as well. Now, we have to think that out, because this comes back again to the Genesis 2 passage, doesn’t it? That in some profound way, a man’s wife is part and parcel of his living frame. Yes, she has a unique personality. Yes, she is a separate entity and so on. But somehow, in a way that is both mystical and yet real, this reality that exists between us is like nothing else in the entire world, and the closest thing that we can come to it is when we think in gospel terms, in atonement terms, in terms of the union of Christ with his people.

This, of course, has huge ramifications for all of our fiddling around with divorces and separations and trying to find excuse clauses and escape clauses, to run away from things, as if somehow or another we just have joined in a casual relationship with each other which, if it goes south on us, we can always break it up and move on to someone else. Oh no you can’t! Oh no you can’t! And the reason that Jesus makes an exception is so that we would understand that he is not providing loopholes in every other area that we try to contrive. That’s why he says, “You’ve got one shot at it, and this is it.” One flesh. One flesh. Some kind of mystical reality.

Now, what do we mean when we say that we love as we love our own flesh? Well, listen to this: “No one, unless he is psychotic or at least unbalanced, hates his own body.” True! I mean, you don’t get up in the morning, take your shaving razor, and try and cut yourself with it. I mean, if you cut yourself, you go, “That was a mistake,” then you call for your wife: “Could you please help me?” So… “Could you please submit by getting me…” All right? To which she says, “Is that an order, or suggestion?” We’ll just leave that alone for now. “No one, unless he’s psychotic or at least unbalanced, hates his own body. For a husband not to love his wife, who has become one flesh with him, is not simply to be a poor husband. It is to be a dysfunctional Christian.” That pretty well says it, doesn’t it?

Now, if you want it more quaintly, in the nineteenth century—and whether you do or you don’t, you’re about to receive it—this is Charles Hodge: “Married love … is as much a dictative nature as self-love; and it is just as unnatural for a man to hate his wife as it would be for him to hate himself or his own body. A man may have a body which does not altogether suit him.” Okay.

He may wish it were handsomer, healthier, stronger, or more active. [But] still, it is his body, it is himself, and he feeds it and cherishes it as tenderly as if it were the best and most lovely in the world. So a man may have a wife whom he could wish to be better or more beautiful or more agreeable; still she is his wife and, by the constitution of nature and the ordinance of God, a part of himself. In [rejecting her] or abusing her, he violates the laws of nature as well as the laws of God.[9]

Sacrificially, and also exclusively: “For a husband to love his wife in this way involves sacrifice, and it also recognizes the exclusive nature of what’s going on. In the same way that the love of Jesus for the church is an exclusive love, so the husband’s affection for his wife is also to be marked by exclusivity.”

In other words, the relationship I have with my wife I sustain with no one else. And neither must any one of us. Richard Baxter—I mentioned him already—in the middle of that big book, he gives directions both to husbands and wives. He says it is our common duty to maintain these things and, he says, “to keep conjugal chastity and fidelity, and to avoid all unseemly and immodest [conduct].” Boy, if that isn’t a kind of… Anybody under the age of 112 is looking for a dictionary in relationship to those words: the idea of “conjugal chastity and fidelity” being a “common duty” and the notion of “unseemly and immodest” conduct. It’s almost… It’s amazing, isn’t it? I mean, the entire advertising world is based on unseemly and immodest conduct. I say that with great respect to all the advertising people who are here. I don’t mean to throw you all under the bus.

But we can go from Baxter in the seventeenth century to the Men’s Health magazine in 1996. You see why it’s important to keep files? Can you believe this? Listen to this. This is Men’s Health, 1996. He’s writing to men, whoever he is: “The key is to make your mind monogamous …. When you’ve promised to drink only from one spring, its water will be sweet. Surely, when a woman knows that she is it for you—that she is the alpha and omega of your erotic world—[she will] be emboldened by [it].”[10]

So, whether you want seventeenth-century Baxter or twentieth-century Men’s Health, let’s be absolutely clear that the exclusivity of the marriage bond is not up for debate or for option. And it is imperative that we recognize this.

I know that you’re not impressed by most of my quotes, but this is… This is from… I think this is… “Baby, I’m down to my last teardrop this time,” by that little lady who was involved with Glen Campbell for a while. Can’t remember her name. Doesn’t matter. But it begins like this: “They said your love life’s in trouble, in a magazine I read, when the one you love is hanging off of his side of the bed.” [11] Okay. That’s that little lady. This is Charles Bridges: “Tender, well-regulated, domestic affection is the best defence against the vagrant desires of unlawful passion.”[12]

Now, you don’t need me to interpret that for you. This is biblical. You can read it in 1 Corinthians 7 for yourselves, in the first five verses. And in the time that I’ve been in pastoral ministry, it is not an uncommon story to discover that the seeds and the roots of declension, not simply in the physical realm but in the entire notion of a one-flesh union within marriage, can be traced to a downright selfishness in relationship to that very area of life. So, Men’s Health gets it. The seventeenth century gets it. And if we’re honest, we get it too.

Now, I spent too long on that. Just a word or two on the negative side.

“Husbands, love your wives.” How shall we do it? Well, we’ll do it sacrificially, we must do it exclusively, and we mustn’t be harsh with them. The basic verb here means to make bitter or to make sour, hence the paraphrase that I quoted earlier from J. B. Phillips: “Don’t [allow] bitterness or resentment [to] spoil your marriage.”

Now, it’s an important word, isn’t it? Because if we’re not alert to this, or even if we are alert to it but tempted to disregard it, it is possible for us as husbands to cultivate, amongst other things that we would like to be rid of, a harsh tone. A harsh tone, fueled by bitterness; a sourness which may stem from a sense of disappointment—often a disappointment with ourselves that is disguised by explaining how disappointed we are with everything else and everyone else. I’m disappointed with life. I’m disappointed with expectations. I have unrealistic ideals for my wife and how she should be. And before we know it, suddenly, we have slipped into a tone that is certainly not conducive to anybody saying, “Wow! Look how these people love each other.”

Our husbandly role of loving our wives is not to be exercised harshly, selfishly, but lovingly—which will mean at least in part being prepared to put my wife’s interests ahead of my own.

Now, this requirement, of course, is necessary. C. S. Lewis: “If the home is to be a means of grace it must be a place of rules …. The alternative to rule is not freedom but the … often unconscious … tyranny of the most selfish member [in the house].”[13] “[Oh,] and may I say not in a shy way. No, no, [no,] not me. I did it my way.”[14] Yeah, there’s the problem for some of us. Our husbandly role of loving our wives is not to be exercised harshly, selfishly, but lovingly—which will mean at least in part being prepared to put my wife’s interests ahead of my own, being prepared to recognize that I don’t need to have the last word in every conversation, and recognizing that we come to this as husbands, as do our wives in verse 18, in the awareness that the framework is laid out in such a way that entering into it by God’s help, we may rejoice in it.

It’s a biblical framework. It’s a permanent framework. It’s a universal framework. And one of the reasons that we need the big family to help us with our wee family is because of our own personal blind spots. Our own personal blind spots. We all have them. We don’t really want to deal with them, and so we are adept at hiding them—until somebody might be prepared to come along and point them out to us.

This kind of thing. This is just from a novel. I made a note of it a long time ago. And this is an observation that is being made by a character in the novel, the wife.

A real relationship’s based on trust and understanding, the sharing of little things. Moments of happiness and laughter. Realising you’ve both just had the same thought, or were about to say the same thing. James and I—

That’s her husband in the novel.

James and I shared nothing … except for the same space. And even that, less and less often. I grew to realise that his emotions were without substance. His obsession was with himself, not me. He’d be telling me about some big contract he’d signed, some export deal to the US, and I’d realise he was watching his own reflection in the window as he told me. Playing to his own imagined gallery. Posing for photographs that weren’t being taken. He was in love with the idea of me, but I was just another trophy in a life that was all about him.[15]

“Oh,” you say, “there you have it, huh?” Yeah, well, we all have it, if we’re honest. I’m loathe to tell you this. Maybe I told you before, in which case it won’t matter, ’cause I’ve already done it. But talking in terms of blind spots, I can’t forget—it’s a long time ago now, and a long way away from here—I was out playing golf with somebody. And in the course of the conversation, in just routine conversation, he said to me, “Alistair, can I say something to you?” Which is usually—that’s not usually gonna be something like “Hey, you’re the finest person I’ve ever met.” So you gotta be prepared, if you’re gonna say yes to it, to be prepared for it. And so I said, “Yeah.”

He said, “Well, I gotta tell you this. You’re awfully hard on your wife.” I said, “Really?” He said, “Yeah.” He said, “You finish her sentences. When you’re in the room, her personality is quashed. When you are out of the room, we all realize who she is, what she has, and what she means.” He said, “I’m telling you that ’cause I care about you and I care about her.” And I tell you, I don’t share that with you to impress you. It pains me yet. I say to you again, I don’t know if it would be easier to have no wife or to have a wife and have to deal with Colossians 3:19.

Well, let’s pray:

Our gracious God, we thank you that as we make our journey down the pathway of life, that we have a Shepherd who loves and cares for the sheep; that we have one who, when we wander and stray, woos us and brings us back; that we have one who, when we’ve made a royal mess of things, comes to pick us up, to restore us, to forgive us, to enable us to get up and get on. And Lord, as we think about what it means to live out the principles of your Word, not just in the big place, in the crowd, but in the small place—in the kitchen, in the bedroom—Lord, who is sufficient for these things, save that you come by the Holy Spirit to quicken us, to renew us, to help us?

And thank you that when we read these exhortations, they are not there as some list of that which we should strive to become but that they are the very outworkings of those who are your beloved, who are learning progressively to put on love, and learning to do so at the places where it demands the most, takes the most, often hurts the most, and yet reveals, often, the most of your work of grace within our lives.

Help us, Lord, to this end. Thank you for the promise of your grace. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

[1] The Westminster Shorter Catechism, Q. 1.

[2] D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Life in the Spirit in Marriage, Home and Work: An Exposition of Ephesians 5:18 to 6:9 (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1976). Paraphrased.

[3] Mark 10:8 (ESV).

[4] Quoted in Melanie Phillips, When the World Turned Upside Down: The Global Battle over God, Truth, and Power (New York: Encounter, 2010), 290.

[5] Ephesians 6:12 (ESV).

[6] Colossians 3:12 (ESV).

[7] See Philippians 2:6–7.

[8] Philippians 2:3–8 (paraphrased).

[9] Charles Hodge, Ephesians, The Crossway Classic Commentaries, ed. Alistair McGrath and J. I. Packer (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 1994), 196.

[10] Hugh O’Neill, “Your Honey or Your Wife,” Men’s Health, January/February 1996, 77.

[11] Paul Davis, “Down to My Last Teardrop” (1991).

[12] Charles Bridges, A Manual for the Young: Being an Exposition of Proverbs I–IX (London: Seeleys, 1849), 122.

[13] C. S. Lewis, “The Sermon and the Lunch,” in Undeceptions: Essays on Theology and Ethics, ed. W. Hooper (London: Geoffrey Bles, 1971), 237.

[14] Paul Anka, “My Way” (1969).

[15] Peter May, Entry Island (London: Quercus, 2014), 67–68.

Copyright © 2024, Alistair Begg. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations for sermons preached on or after November 6, 2011 are taken from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

For sermons preached before November 6, 2011, unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, New International Version® (NIV®), copyright © 1973 1978 1984 by Biblica, Inc.TM Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Alistair Begg
Alistair Begg is Senior Pastor at Parkside Church in Cleveland, Ohio, and the Bible teacher on Truth For Life, which is heard on the radio and online around the world.